Ground breaks, unofficially, on downtown St. Louis MLS stadium

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - There was no ceremony, but technically ground was broken at the site of the new MLS Stadium in St. Louis Thursday.A backhoe from Geotechnology Inc. dug up some dirt in the parking lot along Olive Street to begin preparing the site for the venue. Surveyers were also there. The 22,500 seat stadium is scheduled to be ready for the team's home opener in 2022 -- the date for an official groundbreaking hasn't been set yet.

It’s happening! Site preparation for the @MLS4theLou stadium has begun! @kmoxnews

— Brian Kelly (@Brpkelly) February 6, 2020 The movement comes a day before the St. Louis Board of Aldermen is expected to consider measures to help fund stadium construction. They include various incentives packages totalling more than $20 million in areas like sales tax exemptions on construction equipment, amusement tax abatements, property tax abatements and more.There could also be a measure to claim eminent domain on existing buildings still in the footprint. Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed tells the St. Louis Business Journal that would be used only if good faith efforts to acquire the buildings fail.The city's been considering alternatives after the state decided $30 million in abatements and incentives was too much.Additional reporting/editing by Alex Degman

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